Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness describes dating abuse as a "pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner." Individuals of all walks of life can find themselves in an abusive relationship.Throughout this Web site, victims are often referred to as females and abusers as male.That reference does not change the fact that every survivor -- male or female -- deserves support, options, resources and safety.This abuse/violence can take a number of forms: sexual assault, sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking.
As the relationship becomes more involved, the abuser may gradually escalate the use of these behaviors to include severe jealousy, which is not a sign of love as many in our society believe.
Abuse can occur regardless of the couple's age, race, income, or other demographic traits.
There are, however, many traits that abusers and victims share in common.
The Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence describes abusers as being obsessively jealous and possessive, overly confident, having mood swings or a history of violence or temper, seeking to isolate their partner from family, friends and colleagues, and having a tendency to blame external stressors.
Meanwhile, victims of relationship abuse share many traits as well, including: physical signs of injury, missing time at work or school, slipping performance at work or school, changes in mood or personality, increased use of drugs or alcohol, and increasing isolation from friends and family.